The government has announced a new task force to coordinate the approach to the digitisation of infrastructure and construction sectors.
In a speech at the University of Cambridge at the end of last week, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, launched the Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG), to be chaired by Mark Enzer, chief technology officer for Mott MacDonald.
The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) in Cambridge has drawn together the task group to steer and guide the successful development and adoption of a digital framework for infrastructure data; and to work with the Alan Turing Institute on a series of digital twin pilots.
CDBB will update government on the DFTG’s progress towards the roadmap in December 2018.
Jenrick said: “The government is investing record amounts in UK infrastructure to deliver the roads, railways, schools and hospitals we need for the future.
“There is vast amounts of data and information on the UK’s infrastructure, but more must be done to ensure it is used in a strategic, joined-up way that unlocks its incredible potential for meeting the country’s long-term needs.
“What we’ve announced today will support this ambition to deliver smart and coordinated infrastructure networks, so vital projects like transport, housing and superfast broadband complement each other and ensure we are building a UK fit for the future.
“I’m pleased that Mark Enzer, one of the country’s most respected champions of innovation in construction and infrastructure, has agreed to chair this new group."
Professor Andy Neely, pro-vice-chancellor: business and enterprise and director of CDBB, said: “The Centre for Digital Built Britain welcomes the creation of the Digital Framework Task Group to lead a coordinated approach to the digital transformation of the construction and infrastructure sectors.
“Mark Enzer is a respected thought leader and advocate of transformational change in the infrastructure sector. With strong relationships with academia and his peers in industry, he is well placed to lead the shift toward a common approach to data sharing.
“Digital technologies are shaping all industrial sectors and will have a profound impact on construction. The core aim of the DFTG is to ensure that the UK is well positioned to capitalise on the use of data for the public good in the UK’s economic infrastructure and the wider built and natural environments.
“To achieve this the DFTG will collaborate closely with industry, policy makers and academia to develop and encourage adoption of the digital framework for infrastructure data. The framework will unlock the potential of digital twins, and the next generation of digital construction and smarter infrastructure advances.”
Enzer said: “I’m honoured to accept the role of chair and to help contribute to the vision set out by government and the National Infrastructure Commission.
“The government’s decision to commit to a national digital framework is a major step towards the digital transformation of the infrastructure and construction sectors.
“I look forward to collaborating broadly to deliver a framework that delivers benefits to government, industry, and most importantly, the citizens of the UK.”